Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations Now Accepting Applications for 2013-2014 Student Fellows (NOTE: Deadline Extended to Oct. 10)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, October 10 (5:00 p.m.)

The Liechtenstein Institute's Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations (PORDIR) is now accepting applications for 2013-2014 student fellows. The theme for this year’s fellowship is Religion and Revolution.

Established in 2007, the Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations is an academic-year long fellowship that offers both graduate and undergraduate students at Princeton University the opportunity to study, reflect, and generate ideas and publications concerning the multiple intersections of religion and international politics—exploring the influence of religion on power politics, conflict and crisis management, and the conduct of twenty-first century diplomacy. PORDIR seeks to facilitate discussions about religion and international politics in a neutral, non-ideological forum; encourage interdisciplinary, inter-generational, international and interreligious exchanges among students, scholars and policy practitioners; and promote research, teaching and publication relating to religion and international relations.

Fellows are chosen from a variety of academic backgrounds, and meet weekly—every Wednesday over lunch—throughout the academic year.  Over the course of the year, fellows are expected to pursue independent, academically rigorous research and to present their final article-length research at the annual PORDIR colloquium at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna in June. Every two weeks, PORDIR invites distinguished scholars, diplomatic practitioners, and religious leaders to lead the discussion, offering their perspective on a topic relating to the interplay between religion and international politics.  Meetings that are not hosted by an outside speaker offer the students and faculty of the core group a chance to interact, discuss the messages of previous speakers, and share their own research. 

Past PORDIR fellows have come from a variety of departments and programs, bringing their specific academic backgrounds and interdisciplinary methodologies to bear on key issues related to religion and international politics. PORDIR fellows have used their research as a basis for academic publication, future thesis and dissertation work, and have utilized their research through the course of internships at such places as the UN, State Department, and a variety of international NGOs.

PORDIR VII, 2013-2014: Religion and Revolution

The reports of God’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, or at least premature. Modernity does not necessarily spell the decline of religion in politics—or international politics. This much has become apparent in the post End-of-History generation. Still, the remarkable upheavals of recent years present new challenges to our understanding of the role, or rather roles, of religion in politics: is the Arab Spring a religiously motivated movement or a backlash against politically institutionalized Islam? Is Hinduism part of the problem, or the solution, for the status of women in India and elsewhere? Does social media undermine, or underline, churches worldwide? Are the new social movements secular or constitute a new type of civil religion? Overall, do contemporary religious actors and structures promotes stability or change in international politics?

The 2013-14 PORDIR workshop will focus on these and related questions, probing the interplay between religion and revolution in various spheres—political, military, economic, cultural, and individual—with significant bearing on international politics. Each fellow shall focus on a past, present or prospective transformation to investigate why and how it shapes, and is shaped by, religion. We invite students—graduate and undergraduate alike—who are interested in these topics, to apply for the program, and partake in this exciting project, now in its seventh year.

For enquiries about the program, and for submitting your application, please contact Angella Matheney. Applications are to be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 10.